New York, USA: New Report Evaluates the Experience of Domestic Violence Survivor-Defendants
Wednesday, June 8, 2011 1:10 PM

A report released on June 7, 2011 by The Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School and the Women in Prison Project of the Correctional Association of New York exposes the difficulties domestic violence survivor-defendants have in receiving fair sentencing when they are prosecuted for crimes related to their abuse. From Protection to Punishment: Post Conviction Barriers to Justice for Domestic Violence Survivor-Defendants in New York State details police failure to protect victims of domestic violence as well as the criminal justice system’s disregard for a previous abusive relationship during trial. The report focuses on the injustice survivor-defendants face after conviction, such as overly- restrictive sentencing provisions and limited access to alternative-to-incarceration programs, restrictions on early release programs, barriers to making parole and receiving clemency, and negative collateral consequences resulting from felony convictions.

Using an international human rights framework, the report obliges the U.S. government to “prevent, investigate, and punish violence against women.” The research and interviews conducted for this report were the basis of several recommendations by the authors. Among them are: allowing shorter prison terms and community based alternatives for survivor-defendants; greater appeal opportunities for survivor-defendants currently incarcerated; and the passage of the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act, which is currently pending in the New York State Legislature.


Compiled From: "New Report: Avon Global Center publishes new study on failures to secure justice for domestic violence survivor-defendants in New York State, Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School, (7 June 2011).